Koenig & Bauer has made clear its intent to participate at the rescheduled drupa, taking place 20-30 April, 2021.

drupa 2020 should have run earlier this year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic was rearranged for next year. Sister show interpack was likewise moved back a year, as have many other printing industry events and trade shows. This has resulted in a packed event calendar, especially during the first six months of 2021. The inevitable expense this causes suppliers/exhibitors, coupled with rapid changes in market dynamics and consumer trends caused by the pandemic, disruption to R&D and NPD development cycles, the emergence of new, online communication tools, and ongoing health and safety concerns, have led to some calling into question their ability to participate in events such as drupa in the near-term. Heidelberg, Bobst and Xerox have all now confirmed they shall be changing tack and will not be participating at drupa in 2021.

Koenig & Bauer, however, has stated that it is committed to the world’s largest trade fair for the printing industry, and, ‘is well positioned and the stand in Hall 16 will be retained.’

Koenig & Bauer has been an ever-present at drupa since it was first held in 1951, and will be maintaining its uninterrupted presence by participating in 2021. Over the 70 years between these two dates, it has welcomed customers from all over the world onto its stand, even in times of crisis.

Koenig & Bauer CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann, who is also drupa president, commented, ‘We continue to see drupa, the world’s leading trade fair, as an important building block in the graphic arts industry and we see it as our responsibility to support this industry. We want to do our part to continue to provide important impulses locally in personal discussions.’

Other suppliers, such as foiling specialist Eagle Systems, have joined Koenig & Bauer in lending their support to a drupa in 2021.

Posting on LinkedIn, Eagle Systems president and CEO Michael B. King wrote, ‘We are working closely with the folks at drupa, and Eagle Systems fully supports and is committed to drupa 2021. We are extremely excited and will have the largest booth in the history of Eagle. I am doing this now 45 years and would not miss this amazing event.’

Messe Düsseldorf has now created a hygiene and infection protection concept intended to ensure the safety and welfare of exhibitors, visitors, partners and members of staff, as the exhibition company looks to restart trade fair operations in September.

Mr Bolza-Schünemann said, ‘We have confidence in Messe Düsseldorf’s hygiene concept and in the sense of responsibility of all visitors.’

Ralf Sammeck, Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed CEO, added, ‘Trade fairs will not be the same as they were before COVID-19, and Koenig & Bauer is also supplementing communication with its customers with virtual formats and customer-specific events, for example in our new Customer Experience Center. Nevertheless, these formats can only convey the performance capabilities of the broad product portfolio to a limited extent. Nothing beats experiencing the latest technologies up close in action with the public and the trade fair feeling.’

For Koenig & Bauer, such technologies are to include VariJET 106, its joint development project with Durst for sheet-fed inkjet digital printing. 

Christoph Müller, CEO of the manufacturer’s Digital & Webfed division, concluded, ‘For Koenig & Bauer, there is no more suitable platform to present the product diversity from digital, offset and flexo printing to intelligent digitalisation and service solutions to an international audience.’